Theaster GatesTrue Value

Power of everyday objects,
7 July – 25 September

1.1

Halsted Hardware Store, Chicago, 2014. Photo by Sara Pooley.
Courtesy of Theaster Gates and Sara Pooley

 

Fondazione Prada presents True Value the first exhibition by Theaster Gates (Chicago, 1973) in Milan. Gates’s practice embraces a wide range of disciplines and a variety of artistic vocabularies – sculpture, painting, installation art, music and performance – as well as urban development and social practice; for the spaces of the Fondazione he develops a series of artworks that explore habitual, everyday things as he believes that everyday objects convey a deep understanding, not only intrinsic to their material aspect, but reminiscent of the experiences in which they have been immersed.
This is what makes the artist collect and display discarded materials that constitute the catalyst for a political and aesthetic reflection on cultural renewal and social activism. The Podium hosts True Value (2016), the rendition of an abandoned hardware store, installation after which the exhibition is named. The artwork gathers materials, objects and tools removed from their original context and relocated in an art environment formulating a poetic and pragmatic space. The exhibition is a further opportunity to explore certain nearby cultural and commercial entities, observing local stories, socio-political patterns, and economically and culturally under-explored communities in the hope of setting in motion a new cartography through which to visit and engage an overlooked Milan.

 

2

Theaster Gates True Value, 2016

“IF THERE IS A PARTICULAR ETHOS THAT HAS CHARACTERIZED THEASTER GATES’S WORK IN RECENT YEARS,
IT IS THE FORMULATION OF THE UNIMAGINABLE AS A COMMON CAUSE.”- ELVIRA DYANGANI OSE